When: Thu., March 1 2012
Cleveland photographer Allen E. Cole was about more than just capturing pretty images, says Cole’s chronicler and former curator Samuel W. Black. “As the dean of black Cleveland photographers, when Cole picked up his camera, he understood that he was documenting history.” Those documents — nearly 6,000 prints and 30,000 negatives — today make up the Allen E. Cole Collection at the Western Reserve Historical Society, and provide a perfect peephole into African-American life in the Cedar-Central neighborhood during the 1930s and 40s. “Without them, that period of black life in Cleveland would be sort of an empty slate,” says Black, who has just published a book — Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole — exploring the man, his times, and the importance of his work. Today, Black and his co-author Regennia N. Williams will be at the History Center, signing their book and talking about Cole and his historical significance. The free talk and reception runs from 5 to 7 p.m. It’s open to the public, but reservations are requested at the number below. A related exhibit of Cole’s photography continues at the History Center through May 25. Learn more on the website.